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State-run hospitals in Kabul faced with medicine shortage

State-run hospitals in Kabul faced with medicine shortage

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Aug 12, 2015 - 16:12

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Citing acute shortages of medicines, most government hospitals in capital Kabul refused to give medicines to patients, a doctor said on Wednesday.

A formidable development which prompted the Ministry of Finance to pledge that the problem would be resolved soon.

Dr. Rahmat, Ibn-i-Sina hospital director, had earlier told Pajhwok Afghan News that the required medicine--- procured by the Ministry Of Public Healthinfo-icon every year--- have not been bought for the hospitals.

During the last five months, he added due to lack of medicines the patients admitted in the hospital have no choice but to buy medicines for themselves.

Currently, he added, they were only providing medicines to emergency patients. He said it could create more challenges for both doctors and patients if the problem was not resolved urgently.

Dr. Fazel Mohammad Ibrahimi, director of 102-beds hospital in Khair Khana locality, confirmed the problem and said no medicine or other essentials have been bought for the hospitals this year.

He said distribution of medicine for the admitted patients had stopped and they only used stocks of last year for emergency patients.

Directors of the two hospitals claimed the Worldinfo-icon Bank (WB) had not provided the Ministry of Public Health with financial means.

Dr. Khwaja Qalamuddin Seddiqi, advisor at the Ministry of Public Health, said if the problem continued they had no choice but to stop providing medicines to emergency patients also.

He added the problem only existed in capital’s hospitals since their medicines were being provided by the WB.

He said the money provided by the WB to the Ministry of Public Health still has not been made available. “There is a technical problem. They promised many times to resolve it but it still hasn’t happened.”

But WB spokesman Rauf Zia said they donated $100 million on a yearly basis to the Ministry of Finance then to be allocated to buying medicines, wages of personnel and maintenances.

This year also, he said, the money had been provided to the ministry and it was up to them how they spend. He added the money was donated by 34 countries.

Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzai, spokesman of the Ministry of Finance, confirmed allocation of the fund but said due to technical problems it still has not been incorporated in this year’s budget. The work was ongoing to resolve the technicalities of the issue, he added.

Abdul Rahimzai assured if it took more time, the Ministry of Finance would find alternatives to resolve the issue of hospitals.

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